Mar 30, 2013 - 2:08 pm
I am a 35 year old male who is just starting the fight against kidney cancer. Back in January 2013, I noticed a small little bump, almost like a bug bite, on the side of my stomach just under the skin. I did not like it and wanted it removed and went to 3 doctors...all of them said it was a harmless lipoma and I should just leave it alone. Since I insisted it be removed I finally had surgery scheduled with doctor #3. Well doc #3 cancelled and rescheduled me so I went to doc #4. The bug bite was much bigger now and since January (this was now mid March 2013), it was about the size of a golf ball. Doc #4 scheduled surgery 3 days later, but was concerned about how fast it was growing and sent me for an ultrasound on March 20th to see how big and how deep the bump went. A quick procedure, the ultrasound was complete and I was thinking about what I wanted for lunch when the radiologist came in and said he wanted to do a CT scan. When I asked why, he said there is something on my kidney. I then asked is there ever something on the kidney that is ever good and he said yes there are benign tumors on the kidney. So I went for CT scan #1. When the scan was completed the radiologist said they wanted to biopsy the lump on my side. I asked why, and he said we think you have kidney cancer and believe that lump is a indicator of such. Right then and there I felt like I was in the middle of a nightmare...total shock...in disbelief...and felt like I was just hit in the head by a sledgehammer.
They did the biopsy and I started asking about what was going on. The radiologist was evasive but said he saw a 7cm mass on my left kidney, the lump on the left side of my skin, and a lung nodule (which they think is related but not sure). After a bunch of doctor speak I flat out asked him if it could be fixed from what he saw on my scans. He said that he thought it was curable if they remove the kidney, remove the side mass, and remove just a piece of the lung. He said before I left he wanted to do another CT scan of my left side to get more pictures. After that, he looked at them and I was told I could go home.
Went to doc #4 on March 25th to talk about the scans and that he already got in contact with the Chief of Urology about my case. Got in to see the Urologist on March 28th. He told me that surgery is scheduled for April 5th to remove the kidney and side mass. When I asked about the nodule in the lung, he said it is too risky of a surgery to remove all 3 at the same time. He felt that I should get the kidney and side mass out immediately....recover...then go back for the piece of the lung. Was told doing all 3 at once would increase the possibility of complications and significantly push back my recovery time. I am going for a 2nd opinion on April 2nd. He did also say he wanted me to see an oncologist about some "preventative" treatments after the surgery. He used the analogy of walking into a room and seeing mold on the wall. You take out the wall and replace it with a new one, but since it may be in the air, you still fumigate the place anyway to be safe.
Did my pre-surgical testing yesterday, have 2 CT scans (full body and bone since they only scanned neck to pelvis last week) and an appointment with my primary care on Monday April 1st. 2nd opinion at Sloan Kettering in NY on April 2nd. Kidney and side mass removal surgery on April 5th. Everything has moved so fast and I was hit with so much that it has been very overwhelming. The good thing is that I do have a great family and friends support system and many people praying for me, but I am a mess inside. I try and be strong for them so they don't worry but when I'm alone at night by myself I often cry myself to sleep. Usually I am tough as nails on things but this has turned me into a mess.
I know people say you have to be positive but the more I read about kidney cancer the worse I feel. All I can think about is me laying motionless in bed, white as a ghost, drooling on myself as my family takes care of me watching me rot away. I also get flashes of me laying in a box while all my family and friends cry over me. My mind has been going so crazy that I even looked into Dignitas in Switzerland just to spare my family the grief of watching me erode to nothing. I know it is horrible to think and say....everyone says you are a fighter....you are young and strong......well I just found out last week that I am not as strong as I thought. I am a complete mess...I am scared...I am worried...I feel like my life has been taken from me. Don't know what to do...don't know where to turn to...don't know what is ahead. I have always been religious and pray each night. All I want to do is get through this and go back to my life cancer free. There is so much I have not done yet....I am not married....have no kids....don't own my own house. I just feel like I am now never going to be able to do those things.
Sorry for such a long message, but I stumbled upon this site and it seems that many people here are fighting the same fight....some better...some worse. Any tips would be much appreciated. The depression is deep...my mind is a mess...and I do not know how to handle it.